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End of Summer Hikes

As we near the end of the summer, I start to the feel the anxiety of trying to get as many hikes in as possible. But in reality, we still have two more months of amazing weather. This is the best time to hike in Colorado. This summer has had crazy monsoons, which has really put a damper in my 14er finishing. But, I've still managed to find some hikes that I really enjoy, that I hope you do too!

Lone Eagle Peak (Cascade Creek Trail to Mirror Lake and Crater Lake),

16 miles (moderate).

This is one of my absolute favorites in Colorado. Lone Eagle Peak itself, looks like a fairytale. It is a long slog to the lakes and peak, but you pass by waterfalls and many aspen leaves. I would even save this one for when the leaves are starting to change, and bring lots of snacks. You can reserve camping spots here too, and backpack in!

Shrine Ridge Trail, 4.3 miles (moderate).

I just discovered this one and loved it! I watched the sunset at the top of Shrine Mountain, and had to run down in the dark but it was definitely worth it. This hike is at the top of Vail Pass, and I've heard there are many other good trails and camping up there. At the top, there are some really interesting rock formations, and hiking along the ridge is cool. You have great views of Mt. Holy Cross and the rest of the Sawatch Range at the top.

Loch Lomond Trail, 4.6 miles (moderate).

You need a four wheel drive for this one, or it adds about 2 extra miles. It has a few lakes alongside the trail. It is a great hike not too far from Denver, with great views.

Lily Pad Lake, 3.3 miles (moderate).

This hike is right outside of Frisco. You basically hop right off of I-70 and you're there. The lake is full of wildflowers, views of Frisco, and lily pads. It's right by Outer Range too, which is why I chose this hike in the first place.

Weller Lake, 1.1 miles (easy).

This hike is right outside of Aspen, after Independence Pass. It's short and sweet, with a great lake. People were swimming and brought paddle boards. I loved it!

Independence Pass Ridgeline, 4.7 miles (moderate).

I did this one on the way home from Aspen, and I'm glad I did. It starts at Independence Pass and then follows the ridgeline along the mountains. It has spectacular views. Just don't forget your coat, it was very windy! Hit up Buchi in Leadville on your way home for the best Cubanos in Colorado.

Mount Sniktau, 4 miles (difficult).

This is a perfect 13er to start more challenging mountains. It is one of the easier ones to tackle. The elevation gain is no joke, especially in the beginning. Once you get to the ridgeline, it is less steep. There are great views of Grizzly and Cupid Peak, Torreys, and a turquoise lake. The parking lot is small, so get there early!

I hope you try these hikes and enjoy them like I did! Most of these trails have great camping by them too. Don't forget to start these hikes early for parking and storm purposes. Get out there and have fun these last months of summer.


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